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By E. P Neufeld

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As to speculating or gambling upon false capital, it may do so in a certain degree but not to such extent as to counter balance the other benefits fairly deducible from the introduction of a bank. And it is to be recollected that all credit, whether given by a bank or individuals, is a species of false capital and may be misapplied, but still credit is as essential to commerce as air is to existence - indeed debts due to individuals, from the length of credit usually given, are liable to a greater facility of misapplication than those due to a bank PART I: PRE-CONFEDERATION PERIOD - 39 because the latter require strict punctuality in the performance of engagements and it is one of the advantages attendant on banking that the operation of that punctuality gradually extends itself to all other dealings.

After 34 - MONEY AND BANKING IN CANADA these preliminary observations it is time to point out wherein the possible profits of a bank consist, and how the public are secure under the operation of the issues in paper, indispensable to the production of such profits. In the Bill before the house the maximum of issues or debts in any shape that the bank can own is restricted to three times the amount of specie in its coffers; and I shall put the argument in the extreme, for the sake of more forcibly illustrating the safety of the public, even should the bank go to that extent.

After the merchants of Quebec had petitioned the home government for an additional issue of card money, the King in 1742 raised the total issue of card money to 720,000 livres, and in 1749 he raised it to 1,000,000 livres "for the benefit of the service and trade in Canada" as well as the benefit of the local Treasury (pp. 693, 705, 707, 711, 775). Actually, long before then, "orders" or "army-made" money had completely overshadowed the card money in amount. It may seem surprising that all sorts of paper - "orders," bills of exchange, and even uncertified claims against the government - circulated so readily as money in Canada.

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Money and Banking in Canada: Historical Documents and Commentary by E. P Neufeld


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